When Feelings are not in Sync

Dealing with Refusal: What if He / She Says No?

Love has many forms when it comes to the feeling from one human to another. There can be love between parents and their offspring, love between siblings, love between friends and so on. The word love however, is used in a particularly special sense when it comes to relationships.

Intimacy is a basic human need and romantic love for anyone who has experienced it is an extremely powerful emotion. The thing about love and feeling the same for someone is that there are times when intensity is not matched.

You may be romantically attracted to someone where, on the other hand, the love they have for you, though real and immense is simply platonic. Tricky situation that one!

When Feelings are not in Sync

When Feelings are not in Sync

It is not uncommon for two people who engage closely to develop strong feelings for each other over a period of time. Though sometimes feelings may be matched and reciprocated, there are others when things aren’t so balanced.

Dealing With Refusal

In such a situation, one individual, for lack of better word is left pining, whereas the other is either unaffected or put in a slightly awkward position. If you’re someone who has developed feelings for a friend, colleague or someone in your sphere who does not feel the same, what do you do?

Being Gracious

Being Gracious

The first thing you need to do if someone is not moved to be romantically involved with you is to be gracious. You’re entitled to feel sad, rejected and even put off. Just make sure you don’t create a ruckus about it!

Being passive aggressive, being obnoxious, being rude or emotionally blackmailing the other in question is all in bad taste. If the person you had your heart on is unable or unwilling to get involved, be gracious, be polite and understand that they are well within their right to say no.

Try not to Spiral

Sometimes, rejection makes us react in strange ways. As opposed to clearing our thoughts, we obsess over the person who rejected us. Social media is terrible in such situations!

Don’t spend hours pining, going through old messages or stalking the person on social media. All this will only make you feel worse and dare we say – more desperate! The best thing you can do is not to spiral. If you find yourself obsessing, actively stop and do something else. Though the mind is powerful, it’s you who is in control!


If you’ve managed to be the bigger person despite having been turned down, that’s great! Now, for the next step.

Though acting out is not the way, we already mentioned how such rejection can and does leave one feeling small, beaten and battered.

It is important at this time (as opposed to taking negative emotions out on others) to acknowledge how you feel and to proceed to look after yourself accordingly.

If you need space from the person who turned you down, you have the right to politely ask for the same. Take up a new hobby. Don’t socially isolate or put your life on hold. Nurture yourself like you were planning to nurture your love interest and you will feel a lot better!

Professional Support

There are times when heartbreak can be too much to deal with alone. Maybe the person who turned you down is a close friend of years. Maybe it is someone you have been crushing on for a long time or someone who gave you the impression that things might work out.

In any case, if you’re having trouble in dealing with whatever is happening, you can also seek professional support such as therapy. A therapist will help you process your heartbreak and connect with aspects of yourself that will help empower and heal you.

Winding Down

As a couple therapist and marriage counselor based in Palo Alto who also specializes in working with anxiety and depression among other things, I have seen how much being turned down can break a person.

Having worked with numerous men and women who have been turned down and have trouble coming around after, I have learned one thing. That is, no matter how hopeless and futile things may look at the time, there is always a way to heal and room to grow. For the most part, people overcome their emotional stuckness and proceed to find partners that are actually brilliant for them.

All you need to do is be gracious, stay strong, get the help you need and keep your head up. What is meant to be will be!

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